Report from the Greencastle St Patrick’s Website… http://www.greencastlegaa.com/
Congratulations to Sperrin Og Seniors on claiming the 2011 Ulster Junior Club Championship title after a fantastic victory over Inniskeen in Truagh earlier today. After tonight’s celebrations are over the girls only have a week to prepare for their All-Ireland semi-final game against Claregalway being played next Saturday in Greencastle.
Inniskeen got the first score of the game in the opening minutes and started the game strongest, leading by 0-3 to 0-1 after 10 minutes, with Sperrin Óg’s first point coming from Amy McCullagh.
Bronagh Warnock reduced the lead to one point on the 13th minute but Inniskeen restored the two point gap with a fourth point after 18 minutes.
Sperrin Óg had mixed fortunes in the second quarter of the game, with injuries forcing Laura Heagney and Shauneen Ferrity off after 17 minutes and 22 minutes, coupled with a blistering finish to the first half which saw Sperrin Óg take the lead for the first time in the game.
A goal from Kim McCullagh in the 20th minute gave Sperrin Óg a one point lead, 1-2 to 0-4, and although Inniskeen equalised on the 29th minute, a superb solo run by Laura Lee McCullagh in the next attack set up Sperrin Óg’s second goal, scored by Louise McDermott.
Inniskeen added their sixth point in added time but the Sperrin Óg defence were getting on top of their opponents and prevented Inniskeen from reducing their two point lead at the interval.
HALF-TIME SCORE:Sperrin Óg 2-2 Inniskeen 0-6
Sperrin Óg were the stronger team after the break but they failed to convert their possession to scores with shots from Breige Beggs and Nicola Glass dropping short and a goal chance from Amy McCullagh going agonisingly wide in the 8th minute.
Niamh O’Neill, who came on for Shauneen Ferrity earlier in the game, opened the second half scores with an impressive 35 metre point after winning the Inniskeen kickout.
Inniskeen thought they had equalised the game 12 minutes into the half when they put the ball into the net after goalkeeper Peggy Myles bravely contested a 50-50 ball, but the referee disallowed the goal and awarded Sperrin Óg a free out much to the relief of the Greencastle supporters.
?The Monaghan champions converted a free shortly afterwards to reduce the margin to two points, but an outstanding converted sideline free from Niamh O’Neill in the next minute restored the three point lead.
Laura Lee McCullagh won the subsequent kickout and played it to Kim McCullagh who was unlucky not to add another goal to her tally.
Inniskeen’s cause wasn’t helped when one of their half forwards was sin-binned for a high tackle 20 minutes into the half which meant she would be unlikely to play any further part in the game.
The Sperrin Óg defence were impressive in the second half and outstanding performances from Eimear Teague and Elesha McDermott prevented Inniskeen from adding to their scoring tally for the remainder of the game.
A fortunate goal from Kim McCullagh, when the ball dropped under the crossbar and a point from Briege Beggs immediately afterwards put the game out of Inniskeen’s reach, with a seven point lead and only a few minutes remaining.
Inniskeen didn’t give up but time ran out for them and Sperrin Óg made history lifting the Ulster Junior Club Title for the first time.
FULL-TIME SCORE: Sperrin Óg 3-5 Inniskeen 0-7
After the celebrations on the pitch were over, an emotional team gathered to watch both Captain Maggie Gallagher lift the cup and Eimear Teague accept the Player of the Match award.